DOWNTOWN — After weeks of agonizingly un-summer-like weather, heat has finally hit Chicago.
Friday is expected to hit a whopping 90 degrees, the warmest it’s been in months in the city, according to the National Weather Service. Saturday will cool down but stay hot at 76 degrees and Sunday is expected to get as warm as 85 degrees.
Temperatures will stick to the 80s early next week, too, and more storms are possible over the next few days.
The heat is a far cry from the unusually cold, gray weather that’s hit Chicago recently. (In fact, it’s been so chilly that it may be keeping Lake Michigan dangerously cold.)
And though this weather may feel more pleasant, Cook County Health also warned locals Friday to watch out for signs of overheating or becoming dehydrated amid the recent uptick in temperatures.
Dr. Jenny Lu, a physician with Cook County Health, said the most important thing people can do during the upcoming warm weather is to drink liquids throughout the day, not just when they feel thirsty. Those who are drinking caffeine and alcohol, which can make you dehydrated, should try to balance those fluids with water or other liquids.
People who have to be outside should also wear light, loose-fitting clothing, put on hats and avoid dark-colored clothes, Lu said. When outside, it can also help to wear sunscreen — don’t forget to get the back of your neck, ears and the top of your head if bald — and to take regular breaks to cool off.
Lu also advised Chicagoans to be good neighbors and check in on residents who don’t have air conditioning, especially if they are older.
And never leave kids or pets in the car, especially with the windows rolled up, Lu said.
“Temperatures inside the car can heat up super fast,” Lu said.
If you are outside, watch out for signs of dehydration or overheating: headaches, dizziness, weakness, muscle cramps and really moist or cool skin. Those are all signs of heat exhaustion, Lu said, and if you feel them you should go somewhere to cool off “immediately.”
Symptoms of heat stroke, a life-threatening condition, also include being weak and confused, Lu said.